What you can become, you are already. - Friedrich Hebbel
NOTICE TO READERS: The OMRI Daily Digest will not appear on Monday, 8 May 1995, a Czech national holiday. OMRI DAILY DIGEST

No. 88, Part II, 5 May 1995

This is Part II of the Open Media Research Institute's Daily Digest.
Part II is a compilation of news concerning East-Central and
Southeastern Europe. Part I, covering Russia, Transcaucasia and Central
Asia, and the CIS, is distributed simultaneously as a second document.
Back issues of the Daily Digest, and other information about OMRI, are
available through OMRI's WWW pages: http://www.omri.cz/OMRI.html


UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT IN ITALY. Leonid Kuchma, at a meeting on 4 May at
the Chamber of Trade and Industry in Milan, called for Italian support
for Ukraine's efforts to sign a partnership and cooperation agreement
with the European Union, Interfax reported. The previous evening in
Rome, Kuchma and Italian Prime Minister Lamberto Dini signed a bilateral
cooperation agreement. Kuchma at a news conference stressed that he came
to Italy not asking for help but "suggesting cooperation." He noted that
Italian investments make up only 2.5% of total foreign investments in
Ukraine and that the European Commission's decision to cancel tariff
preferences on textiles from Ukraine has discouraged Italian investments
in the textile industry. -- Saulius Girnius, OMRI, Inc.

Alyaksandr Lukashenka, while attending the dedication on 3 May of a
monument to victims of the largest tank battle of World War II at the
Russian village of Prokhorovka, said that 80-90% of the people will
express support for closer integration with Russia in the 14 May
referendum, Interfax reported. He added that they will vote for making
Russian one of the official state languages. He also said that whether
integration becomes a reality depends on Russia, which still owes
Belarus 300 billion rubles for military hardware. Asked if Russia,
Ukraine, and Belarus could form a single state, Lukashenka said: "This
depends on the peoples of these states. If everything is entrusted to
politicians it will hardly be achieved." -- Saulius Girnius, OMRI, Inc.

INFLATION DOWN IN BELARUS IN APRIL. Government experts have said the
rate of inflation in the first three weeks of April was 8.4%. They
predict that the rate for the whole month will not exceed 12%, Interfax
reported on 3 May. This is a significant decline from rates of 39.8% in
January, 33.8% in February, and 19.4% in March. The prices for services
rose by 10.5%, while prices for food increased by 8% and for
manufactured goods by 8.1%. The lower inflation rate is primarily due to
the strict monetary policy pursued by the National Bank of Belarus,
which has not issued a single credit since the start of 1995. The 123.3%
rate for the first quarter of 1995 was the highest among all CIS
countries and more than double the rates for the same period in Ukraine
(59.9%), Azerbaijan (47.4%), and Russia (42.2%), respectively. --
Saulius Girnius, OMRI, Inc.

RUSSIAN CITIZENS IN ESTONIA. Russian Ambassador to Estonia Aleksandr
Tromifov told Estonian Interior Minister Edgar Savisaar on 3 March that
71,000 people currently residing in Estonia have been granted Russian
citizenship, BNS reported the following day. Savisaar expressed concern
that the continuing growth of Russian citizenry may put domestic
stability in jeopardy. The main focus of the meeting, also attended by
Citizenship and Migration Department Director-General Andres Kollist,
was solving problems in the fields of citizenship, migration, borders,
and crime. -- Saulius Girnius, OMRI, Inc.

Controlled Demolition Inc. blew up a 19-story unfinished radar tower at
Skrunda on 4 May, Western agencies reported. The U.S. government paid
for the bulk of the $7 million costs of demolishing the structure,
called "The Monster" by locals. President Guntis Ulmanis, speaking at
the ceremonies, noted that "though this building was built in peace
time, for Latvia it was a symbol of occupation, militarism, and
confrontation." Russia is allowed to maintain an older early warning
radar station at Skrunda until 1998. Jorgen Andersen, the OSCE
representative for control over implementation of the accord on the
Skrunda radar station, was denied access to the radar station. Latvia
sent an official protest to Moscow. -- Saulius Girnius, OMRI, Inc.

guests--including representatives from the World Bank, the International
Monetary Fund, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, and
several European Union countries--attended a conference in Vilnius on 4
May devoted to acquainting Western investors with Lithuania's state
investment program, BNS and Interfax reported. Total direct foreign
investment to date in Lithuania ($170 million) is considerably lower
than in Estonia ($474 million) and Latvia ($327 million). Prime Minister
Adolfas Slezevicius said that funds for investment will rise from 2.4%
of GDP in 1993 to 5% in 1997. The Lithuanian government will primarily
invest in the energy and transport industries as well as in
environmental protection and health care projects. -- Saulius Girnius,
OMRI, Inc.

POLISH PARTY STAGES ANTI-TAX PROTEST. Polish media reported that on 4
May, the last day for submitting personal income tax forms in Poland,
the Conservative Coalition party (not represented in the Sejm) staged an
anti-tax protest in Warsaw. It claimed that for every zloty earned, only
0.35 is left after taxes and obligatory insurance. "There is no need for
the state expenses to increase," the Conservative Coalition leader
Kazimierz Ujazdowski commented. -- Jakub Karpinski, OMRI, Inc.

the Russian Public Union, has accused Polish Foreign Minister Wladyslaw
Bartoszewski of attempting to revise Ukraine and Belarus's western
frontiers. Baburin said that Bartoszewski, in his recent address to the
German parliament (see OMRI Daily Digest, 2 May 1995), was seeking to
form a strategic Polish-German alliance against Russia. A Polish Foreign
Ministry spokesman said such accusations are absurd, Polish media
reported on 5 May. -- Jakub Karpinski, OMRI, Inc.

Clinton told Vaclav Klaus on 4 May that he supports the expansion of
NATO and that the Czech Republic is a leading candidate for membership,
Czech media reported. After talks in the White House, Klaus told
reporters that Clinton assured him he will take a firm stand on the
issue when he meets with Russian President Boris Yeltsin in Moscow next
week. Clinton stressed "the word 'process' because it's not a matter of
a concrete date but of getting the process under way," Klaus said. The
Czech premier also held talks with Secretary of State Warren
Christopher, which centered on developments in Croatia. -- Steve Kettle,
OMRI, Inc.

(KDS) deputies on 4 May split away from the party's caucus to form their
own group in protest over the proposed merger of the KDS with the Civic
Democratic Party (ODS). The five, who constituted half of the KDS
representatives in the parliament, included parliament deputy chairman
Pavel Tollner. They named their new caucus KDS I. Tollner said the
deputies were willing to work with the ODS but not to be integrated into
it. He added that they had substantial support within the party for
their action. KDS leader Ivan Pilip said he was not informed of the
action beforehand but learned about it from Czech Radio. Tollner was
stripped of his post as a KDS deputy chairman following the announcement
of the split, Rude pravo reported. -- Steve Kettle, OMRI, Inc.

deputy chairman of the Slovak National Bank, said on 4 May that Slovakia
was ready to "switch to a different trade arrangement" with the Czech
Republic, if that country goes ahead with its plans to abolish the
clearing system with Slovakia (see OMRI Daily Digest, 4 May 1995). He
said abolishing the system "should not cause any problems for Slovakia."
But Mikulas Dzurinda, economic expert for the opposition Christian
Democratic Movement, said he was afraid that the abolition of the
clearing system would put pressure on Slovakia's hard-currency reserves
and adversely affect Slovak exporters. Meanwhile, Czech Finance Minister
Ivan Kocarnik, in an interview with Lidove noviny on 5 May, said the
clearing system with Slovakia could be abolished at the earliest in
September, depending on how quickly the government and parliament acts.
He added that the Slovak government continues to put off a proposed
meeting between Prime Ministers Vaclav Klaus and Vladimir Meciar to
discuss the subject. -- Jiri Pehe and Steve Kettle, OMRI, Inc.

HUNGARIAN INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION. Figures issued by the Central
Statistical Office on 4 May show that Hungary's industrial output in
February fell by 5.4% compared with January but was up 10.2% on February
1994, Western news agencies reported. Total output was worth $2.326
billion at current prices, and sales totaled $2.257 billion in February,
up 9.8% on the previous February. Since last February, the output of the
machine and metallurgy industries have increased by 40% and 18%,
respectively. Exports grew by 36.7%, with 72% and 52% increases in
industrial machinery and metallurgy exports. -- Edith Oltay, OMRI, Inc.


WHERE ARE THE MISSING 1,000 SERBS? International media reported on 5 May
that Croatian forces completed their occupation of the divided west
Slavonian city of Pakrac the previous day. Some accounts indicate there
was no resistance and that the Serbs readily surrendered, while others
suggest that some Serbs panicked and put up a last-minute struggle.
Croatian officials arrested five Serbian leaders as suspected war
criminals. An additional 800-1,000 people were sent off in buses to
unknown destinations, despite protests by UN officials who wanted to
evacuate the Serbs to a place of their own choosing. Some Croats told
the UN that the Serbs were "chetniks." Other reports noted that drunken
Croatian soldiers were systematically looting Serb-held properties and
carting off the goods in army trucks. -- Patrick Moore, OMRI, Inc.

resolution on 4 May condemning Croatian behavior in Pakrac as well as
the Serbian missile attacks on Zagreb, which hit the city center, the
airport area, and the poor district of Kozari Bok. The council also
called on Croatian troops to return to their original positions but did
not say what the UN would do if the soldiers stay put. President Franjo
Tudjman, however, told international media that he hoped the Serbs had
learned a lesson and would now accept a political settlement. He added
that he wants especially to reopen the Zagreb-Knin-Split railway line
soon. Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic attended a "unity meeting"
with Krajina Serb officials and told CNN that "we are going to defend
our people with all of our means." But it nonetheless seems clear that
Pale has its hands full at home and that its ability to aid Knin is
limited. -- Patrick Moore, OMRI, Inc.

the year-old federation began a three-day session on 4 May to discuss
its future. The Croats and Muslims accuse each other of being
responsible for the failure to launch joint institutions, especially in
the military and the police. The Croatian police refuse to accept lower
Bosnian government wages, for example, while the Muslims accuse some
Croatian leaders of being war criminals. Elsewhere in the Bosnian
capital, AFP said that sniper fire was on the rise, while, in an unusual
twist, drunken French peacekeepers celebrating their regiment's annual
feast day threw grenades that killed a Muslim soldier. In Maglaj, Serbs
wounded six British troops, which prompted the UN command to issue a
"strong protest" to the local Serbian headquarters. -- Patrick Moore,
OMRI, Inc.

SERBIAN VOLUNTEERS OFF TO THE FRONT. Vojislav Seselj, leader of the
Serbian Radical Party (SRS) and accused war criminal, has dispatched the
first contingents of Serbian volunteers to defend Krajina, Nasa Borba
reported on 5 May. The precise number of volunteers who have already
left is being kept secret by the SRS. The daily observed that the
notorious leader of the paramilitary "Tigers", Zeljko Raznatovic, alias
Arkan, is gathering his own volunteers for service on the front lines.
In other news, international agencies reported that Greek Foreign
Minister Karolos Papoulias is scheduled to arrive in Belgrade on 5 May
to meet with Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic. Discussions between
the two leaders are expected to focus on the most recent military
developments in the former Yugoslavia and their possible impact on
prospects for peace. -- Stan Markotich, OMRI, Inc.

MASS TRIALS IN KOSOVO. Seventy-seven ethnic Albanian former policemen
went on trial in Prizren and Gnjilan on 3 May, international agencies
reported. These latest trials bring the number of former policemen
charged with creating a shadow Kosovar police force to 88. So far, 16
have been sentenced to up to six years in prison and 159 arrested.
Defense lawyers say there is not enough evidence to back the charges and
have argued that the trials are political. -- Fabian Schmidt, OMRI, Inc.

Vacaroiu, following a meeting of leaders of the major coalition partner,
the Party of Social Democracy in Romania (PDSR), said on 4 May that the
government is to be reshuffled. The affected portfolios are culture and
trade, Radio Bucharest reported the same day. PDSR spokesman Dumitru
Paslaru said the reshuffle was necessary "to give effect to the four-
party protocol," Reuters reported. The protocol was signed last January
by members of the current ruling coalition (the PDSR and the nationalist
Party of National Unity of Romania), the extremist Greater Romania Party
and Socialist Labor Party. The Romanian media report that in addition to
the two ministries mentioned by Vacaroiu, other portfolios likely to
change hands are relations with the parliament as well as youth and
sports (both incumbents have been appointed to other posts). -- Michael
Shafir, OMRI, Inc.

ROMANIAN LIBERAL PARTIES TO UNITE. The Standing Bureau of the National
Liberal Party and the Executive Committee of the Liberal Political Group
(a formation that split from the Liberal Party '93 in March when that
group withdrew from the Democratic Convention of Romania [CDR]) have
decided to merge on 13 May, Radio Bucharest reported. That day marks the
120th anniversary of the setting up of the National Liberal Party. The
leaders of the two formations expressed the hope that the National
Liberal Party-Democratic Convention (which is also a member of the CDR)
will join the merger. -- Michael Shafir, OMRI, Inc.

reported on 3 May that police in Timisoara are investigating two members
of the former secret police on suspicion of oil smuggling to neighboring
rump Yugoslavia. Radu Tinu and Valentin Ciuca were detained the previous
day on charges of smuggling some 1,000 tons of diesel oil into Serbia in
1992 in violation of UN-imposed sanctions. Tinu and Ciuca were tried and
acquitted in connection with attempts to suppress the popular revolt
that erupted in Timisoara in December 1989 and led to the fall of
Nicolae Ceausescu's regime. They later set up a private company
specializing in trading oil and cement. -- Michael Shafir, OMRI, Inc.

moratorium on the strike by students and teachers was signed in Chisinau
by the strikers' committee and the government commission set up to deal
with their demands, Interfax reported on 4 May. According to the
protocol, no more protests will take place before 6 September. The
month-long strike was suspended on 15 April after President Mircea
Snegur submitted to the parliament a legislative initiative to change
the designation of the country's official language from "Moldovan" to
"Romanian," thus moving to meet one of the strikers' main demands. The
Moldovan government has already met some of their demands of an economic
nature and promised to continue to do so. -- Michael Shafir, OMRI, Inc.

newspapers on 4 May published critical assessments of the first 100 days
of the Socialist-led government. The independent 24 chasa wrote that the
government has done "nothing for the people," while Standart said the
government's plans were "still unclear" and that there are more problems
than before. The Socialist daily Duma, for its part, focused on the
opposition Union of Democratic Forces, saying that its "fight against
'communism'" only proves the narrow horizon of its politicians. --
Stefan Krause, OMRI, Inc.

Zhan Videnov has said Bulgaria will apply for membership in the European
Union at the time of the EU's intergovernmental conference next year,
which is to discuss further moves toward integration under the
Maastricht treaty. Videnov made the statement at a meeting with EU
Commissioner Hans Van den Broek, who said EU enlargement was "a historic
necessity in order to correct the consequences of the division of
Europe." Van den Broek also met with President Zhelyu Zhelev,
international agencies reported on 4 May. -- Fabian Schmidt, OMRI, Inc.

[As of 12:00 CET]

Compiled by Jan Cleave

The OMRI Daily Digest offers the latest news from the former Soviet
Union and East-Central and Southeastern Europe. It is published Monday
through Friday by the Open Media Research Institute. The Daily Digest is
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